Silver Strand Falls is the western-most waterfall within Yosemite National Park’s Yosemite Valley. Meadow Brook drains from a small basin north of Badger Pass and enters Yosemite Valley via this fall between Old Inspiration Point and Stafford Point. The basin feeding the falls is small and though during the melt season the volume can be significant enough that the falls are rather impressive, Meadow Brook will consistently run dry by the middle of July during heavier snow years, and may be dry by early June during drier years when the snow melts off earlier.
Most citations of Silver Strand Falls incorrectly suggest a height of 1,170 feet. Like many of the other waterfalls in Yosemite Valley, it is thought that this figure was arrived at by USGS surveyor Francois Matthes in 1916, but while virtually every waterfall that Matthes measured nearly 100 years ago seems to have been measured accurately, the height he listed for Silver Strand Falls does not align with reality. The current USGS El Capitan quadrangle shows the actual height of the falls at about half of Matthes’ figure, something around 560 feet, and Google Earth’s current terrain model supports this conclusion. Ice climbers have reported the falls to stand 574 feet, so there seems to be enough general consensus on a rough estimate to confirm Matthes to be wrong with his measurement. How Matthes arrived at his measurement is a mystery and may never really be known – chances are it was simply a poor estimate.